Fast food is a favourite in the UK, its quick, simple, cheap and you don’t have to cook. However, have you ever considered the sustainability of the burger or the chicken nuggets you love to dip in tomato sauce really is?
Firstly, a lot of the food fast food restaurants sell, contain meat, mainly chicken and beef. In the majority of cases the welfare of the animal reared for fast food production is highly questionable and proves to be highly unethical. Not only is this unsustainable, but it also raises many questions regarding where we choose to eat.
The animals reared to produce the food we eat, including those used in the production of fast foods produce a large amount of greenhouse gases, which increases the effects of climate change. If you are wanting to be more sustainable but are planning to eat at a fast food restaurant, maybe opt for the vegetarian or even the vegan option instead.
If more people chose the vegetarian and vegan options, fast food restaurants would be forced to add more of these options to their menus, in order to not lose customers.
The packaging that comes with your fast food meal is also incredibly unsustainable, although many restaurants boast that their packaging is recyclable. Be aware that once this packaging has grease on it, it can’t be recycled and then it becomes waste.
Many fast food restaurants have drive throughs that create their own unsustainable problems. In a lot of cases, especially at busier times, queues for these drive throughs can become long. In these cases, cars are left running whilst the customer waits to have their order to be taken and their food to be made. This means that each of these cars are producing a large amount of harmful emissions whilst they wait.
Overall choosing the fastest and cheapest option is not the most sustainable, if you can’t completely cut fast food out of your life, maybe swap your habits to only allowing yourself a fast food meal for a treat. The best option however would be to stop eating fast foods altogether, both for your health and the health of the planet.